Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas (to all our valued clients!)

On the phone Friday afternoon, for a spot of last minute off-the-cuff legal advice before the world shuts down for the next two weeks, the lawyer wishes Mine Host a "Merry Christmas" before engaging in a brief 45 seconds or so of chitter-chatter about what our respective Christmas plans are.

Thus the phone call extends into an extra 6-minute chargeable block.  This really puts to the test Mine Host's seasonal "goodwill to all mankind" resolve.

Call rate is charged at $48 per 6-minute block.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Twit Twitters a Tweet

Copied below is a brief twitter exchange from earlier this week.  It is between two well known people and has attracted a minor amount of attention from the news media.

One quick read of it and the phrase "we've a couple of anti-gun crazies here" leaps into the head.
Several people have taken umbrage at Mine Host's assessment.  Some of them quite a deal of umbrage.
This has been somewhat puzzling.

Clearly both of these pundus are in the anti-firearm camp. But that is a side issue.
I've made inane banter with all who've brought it to my attention, believing they can see what I see.  However many remain cold, or even somewhat cross.  Perhaps some people are far more laymen when it comes to firearms that you'd imagine.

A thought popped into the head just now;
Am I the only one who can see the glaring error in the tweet?   (It is glaring to me).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Serious Breach

Any venue with a liquor licence must maintain a "Manager's Register."

This register must be available at all times for inspection by an officer of the Liquor Licencing Division (all police officers hold the office of "Liquor Inspector").

The register must show that at all times there is a licenced manager on duty.  (i.e. someone who holds a "Licenced Venue Manager's Licence" - sort of like a driver's licence).

For each manager the register shows:
Time started
Time finished
Licence no.
Name of manager

The Wayside Tavern downloaded the register from the website of the Liquor Licencing Division.

On a certain evening a police officer from the (cough) specialist Liquor Enforcement section of Qld police called to inspect the register.

As a result of his inspection he issued a citation to the Wayside Tavern, reason: The register incorrectly formatted.

The specific breach:  The columns for print name and signature were separated by a single vertical line.

The citation stated that these columns must be demarcated by a double vertical line.

In case anyone missed it above:  The Wayside Tavern was using the Manager's Register downloaded from the website of the Liquor Licencing Division.

It should be noted here that nowhere in the Queensland Liquor Act is there any mention of what such a register should look like, or what information it must contain, the act merely mandates that a manager's register must be kept.

You couldn't make it up!

Premier Campbell Newman:  Keep-on-firing-them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Clueless Partisanship

When Mine Host was a nipper in school, one dictionary that we were not allowed to use was the "Macquarie Dictionary".

The teachers would not allow it, for exactly the same reason we kids loved it:  It contained all the swearwords, obscenities, foul language plus any & all "rude" words.

Oxford was the only dictionary allowed, though Cambridge was not actively discouraged.  Webster was prohibited on the grounds of being being the anti-christ (as it should be - Mine Host is a John Quincy Adams supporter, and thus of the belief that Noah Webster should have been thrown down a well or something.)

But Noah Webster, even if incredibly misguided, was at least fair dinkum about language.  The teachers at school recognised his (misguided) efforts, but regarded the Macquarie Dictionary as nothing more than a sick joke.

Credible dictionaries are collaborative efforts by a large group of scholars.
The Macquarie dictionary has only ever had input from pretty much one person.  Ever.

This fact was not known when we were at school.  It became obvious several years later when the person who writes it made a series of television appearances, salaciously using foul language, right there on TV, without a thought for decorum or decency.

Mine Host, watching this, thought: that ain't a bad way to get out of being arrested for using foul language, or being hauled before some commission for swearing on TV; write yourself a dictionary, put all the obscenities into it, then strut around in public using those same words.

When the public was shocked by the language used, the author of this dictionary feigned ignorance, and cluelessly stated (paraphrased): "I didn't realise words such as Faaahk, Can't, & others were considered bad"

Being too clueless to realise some words are too foul for television, or decent society, is not what one should profess, not when one aspires to being an arbiter of the English language.

There are also significant differences between the Macquarie definition of many words, and the Oxford/Cambridge definition of those same words.  One can imagine Mine Host's distress upon arriving at a courthouse for a hearing, to discover that the Australian courts use the (choke) Macquarie dictionary as the final arbiter of a definition.  Oh-My-God!

Given the above mentioned public demonstrations of cluelessness by the author of that dictionary, Mine Host knew how reliable the Macquarie was going to be.

This brings us to the recent incident that brought reputational fallout to the Macquarie dictionary such that it likely will never recover any of the former gravitas it may once have held:

The Prime Minister used a word wrongly in parliament.  (Yep, the same Prime Minister who is a qualified lawyer, a profession that owes its very existence to the fact that words have meanings, didn't know the correct definition of a word!)

This caused the Prime Minister some embarrassment.

The author of the Macquarie Dictionary sprang into action, announced that the meaning of this word had "changed", thus the Prime Minister had been "correct".

This event had an air of rushing in to protect an ideological comrade, rather than an authentic attempt to codify our language.

So the committee (cough) of the Macquarie Dictionary had an extraordinary meeting to change the definition of this word, thus making the Prime Minister "right".

This sort of stuff used to happen in the Soviet Union.

It does not happen in free countries.

The pages of the Macquarie Dictionary are too small to use for dunny paper, but they are of just the right size to use for rolling cigarettes.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Do I look like a walking calculator?

One of the drinks in the bar at the Wayside Tavern is priced at $10 (Ten Dollars).

On a quiet afternoon, one of the regulars is in a school of four, and orders 4 (four) of this drink.

When the barmaid serves up the 4 (four) drinks [@$10 each] the customer asks what the total price will be.

The barmaid smiles sweetly and announces that she'll just have to "...go back to the cash register and check".

.... Back at the cash register she reads the total, looks up and cheerfully announces that "Four of those will $40".

So continues life behind the bar!

Friday, December 07, 2012

No Lifting....!

The Occupational Health and Safety officer mentioned in the previous post was a tad over-zealous when he mandated "4 points of contact" for anyone climbing a stair/ladder, but once he'd made the blunder he wasn't going to back off from it.

His aim was to make it impossible for anything to be carried up the ladder.

In his excitement at being able to make life hard for a business, he failed to notice his directive was actually impossible.

The purpose of the Wayside Tavern's ladder access to the loft was to carry stuff up, or to carry stuff down.

Combine this with the fact that the carrying/storage was for commercial purposes and he couldn't resist issuing a directive that would prevent use of the loft.....

.... For despite the his job title his main interest is not to improve safety, but to hamstring businesses.

Being too lazy/incompetent to write such a manual himself, he issued a directive that the Wayside Tavern was to write a procedure manual for climbing a ladder.

You couldn't make it up!

To Premier Campbell Newman:  Keep-on-firing-them!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Safer Workplace

A government inspector, from the "Office of Occupational Health & Safety" made a visit to the Wayside Tavern.

He was there to inspect an area in the back of house that had "been reported" as having an "unsafe" method of climbing into a loft.

The inspector assessed the ladder used to get to the loft and as it was simply a common step-ladder, declared it "unsafe".

The inspector issued a requisition that a new ladder be installed, this one to have "bannister rails" (would you believe?), and that the employer was to write up a formal "ladder climbing procedure" (to be signed by any/all staff before they climed this ladder).

Included in the procedure was to be the requirement that any person climbing this ladder must at all times maintain 4 (four) points of contact with the ladder.

.... Anyone wondering why the new state government is going to fire 20,000 public servants, will have part of the answer by reading the above.